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January 24, 2009
The Brownwood school board meets Thursday to approve the recommendation to replace Steve Freeman.
Shipley was reported as one of two finalists by theoldcoach.com a week ago and Shipley and Glen Jones of Brady were interviewed by Brownwood administrators this week.
Shipley has had a successful two years at Coppell but has decided to return to his roots of success in smaller towns. Coppell had a 15-7 record in two years and reached the second round of the Class 5A Division I state playoffs this year before losing to eventual state champion Allen.
Shipley was a strong contender for the position at Class 4A Lake Travis last year but withdrew because he'd only been at Coppell for one season. But several Coppell administrators said it had become clear over time that Shipley clearly seemed to prefer coaching in a smaller community.
Shipley's tenure in Coppell certainly is considered successful and Coppell athletic director John Crawford already had started a preliminary search shortly after Shipley expressed an interest in Brownwood to the Coppell school district.
The highlight during Shipley's tenure was Coppell's double-overtime victory over Southlake Carroll last October before more than 10,000 at Buddy Echols Field. The 57-33 Coppell win ended a 38-game district winning streak by Southlake Carroll and was only the fourth time Coppell has defeated Southlake in the last 23 games.
Shipley came to Coppell after a highly successful run at Class 3A Burnet, which is not far from Brownwood. Burnet played in back-to-back Class 3A state finals in 2002 and 2003 with Shipley's oldest son Jordan as a star receiver and Stephen McGee at quarterback. Jordan Shipley has been a star at the University of Texas while McGee became starting quarterback at Texas A&M until an injured shoulder forced him to the sidelines.
Shipley could be successful quickly in Brownwood with his younger son Jaxson Shipley, who started for Coppell as a sophomore and has the same speed, athleticism and big-play ability of Jordan. Jaxson already is rated among the top prospects for the Class of 2011 and will have two years to play in Brownwood.
There also is the possibility that Shipley's college teammate at Abilene Christian, Graham coach Brad McCoy will join the staff at Brownwood. McCoy's elder son Colt McCoy is quarterback at Texas while Case McCoy is one of the top quarterbacks for the Class of 2010. Another standout player for Coppell this past season was sophomore running back Cam McDaniel, whose father Danny was on Shipley's staff the first year at Coppell.
The McDaniels were living in Burnet and made the move to Coppell with the Shipleys two years ago.
Brownwood is seeking to replace former head coach Steve Freeman, who resigned in early December after leading the team to nine playoff appearances in his 12-year tenure. The team failed to make the postseason the past two seasons and went 3-7 in 2008.
The program dropped to Class 3A during the 2008-09 UIL realignment, and the Lions play in District 2-3A, which features Division I state semifinalist Abilene Wylie, Snyder, Sweetwater, Graham and Breckenridge.